Saturday, September 20, 2008

Baraka | a visually rich spiritual treat

scenes from BarakaBaraka can easily be considered one of the most ambitious and astonishing film ever made - a real spellbinder! The title is taken from a Sufi word meaning "blessing" or "essence of life." This non-narrative film expands our awareness of the world and helps widen our circle of compassion. Produced by Mark Magidson and directed by cinematographer Ron Fricke using the 70 millimeter film format, it was photographed on six continents in 24 countries including Tanzania, China, Brazil, Japan, Kuwait, Cambodia, Japan, Iran, Nepal, and the United States. (credit)

Everything has its Way of Glorification

Baraka reminds us the Quranic saying, "The seven heavens extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all that they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise." - 17:44.

Also, "Glorifying The Divine is everything in the heavens and everything on earth." - 64:1

The powerful scenes of Baraka exactly reminds this glorification from natural world of still mountains and lust green forest to diverse animal world, to the monks in secluded temples or yogi at the bank of holy river ganges. Its a powerful statement of the oneness of our beautiful planet and everything in it. Also it captures beautifully the diverse nature of how humanity glorifies the Divine in different parts of the world, including devout Jews praying at the wailing wall in Jerusalem, the sufi dervishes of turkey in their whirling ecstasy, Japanese zen monks in their temple, sea of muslims circumbulating kaba at Mecca, Christian monk prostrating in church, Buddhists in their mindful meditation, indigenous people in their rituals and much more.

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest....This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in all its beauty."
- Albert Einstein

With its breathtaking cinematography and mesmerizing music, Baraka delivers an unforgettable collection of snapshots from the global family album. Startling, powerful, and moving images portray the vastness and variety of nature, city life, sacred sites, rituals, and the shared distress of earth and humankind. The images are carried into our consciousness and connected to our feelings by the soul-stirring music and sound collages of composer Michael Stearns.

The filmmakers have captured a compelling record of dramatic and spiritual moments as well as other scenes which give us pause to wonder about the fate of the planet and its creatures. In the end, Baraka helps us to see and to feel in our flesh that the healing of self and the healing of the planet are inextricably linked.

Watch the full film made available in 10 parts via youtube:

Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -
Part 6 -
Part 7 -
Part 8 -
Part 9 -
Part 10 -

. the DVD is available at Amazon.
. Spirit of Baraka
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